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sea bird which lays its eggs on the beach in the middle of
winter. During the period when the Halcyon is laying and hatching
its eggs, the seas are very calm and there is fine weather. That is
where the expression "Halcyon days" comes from.
believed to refer to the Kingfisher.
Halcyon is the Greek word for "kingfisher", from
the words hals (the sea) and kuo (brood on.)
are especially remarkable for this- the seas and those who sail them know
the days when they breed. The bird itself is a little larger than a
sparrow, sea-blue in color and reddish on the underside, with white
feathers in the neck, and a long slender beak... They breed at midwinter,
on what are called "Halcyon days", during which the sea is calm
and navigable, especially near Sicily. They make their nests a week
before the shortest day, and lay a week after it."